Create more integrated cloud experiences with over 1,400 connections
Last year I had the opportunity to speak with clients across a wide range of sectors about how they are approaching the current economic climate. Whether they’re focusing on increasing efficiency or driving cost savings, we’re all essentially trying to do more with less and prioritize investments that will deliver the most important and meaningful results. Unfortunately, these resource constraints come at a time when data sources and data volumes continue to rise at staggering rates. According to a study published by IDC, the amount of new data created, captured, replicated and consumed is expected to double in size by 2026.  This increase in data means IT departments are trying to adapt from terabyte-scale data management to now petabyte-scale – and doing so with even fewer resources.
Beyond this massive growth in data, organizations are also constantly adding new cloud solutions, applications and experiences to support their hybrid workforce and changing business needs. As the number of solutions grows, employees need connected experiences that enable them to bring work from one tool to the next seamlessly. Unfortunately, the result is often the opposite as new solutions fail to integrate with the existing technology ecosystem, leading to blurred experiences and greater inefficiencies.
Without security and management solutions built to work across multi-cloud and app environments, this increase in apps and data also expands attack surfaces and opens holes for adversaries to exploit and infiltrate. These attacks result in devastating business disruption and economic damage with the average breach costing $4.35 million. Developing a cybersecurity strategy that can account for all potential attack surfaces is more complex than ever, and 86% of decision makers surveyed believe their current cybersecurity strategy is not keeping pace with their multi-cloud environments. 
All of these potential problems, from data replication to hidden experiences to growing attack surfaces, stem from disconnected data and applications across multi-cloud and multi-system environments. That’s why, across our Microsoft Cloud offerings, we’ve worked with our thriving Independent Software Vendor (ISV) ecosystem to create a library of over 1,400 connectors that allow you to seamlessly connect your third-party services to Microsoft Cloud solutions like Microsoft Power Platform , Microsoft Power Query, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Graph and Microsoft Sentinel. Microsoft Cloud is now not only the most reliable and comprehensive cloud, but it is also one of the most connected and open clouds on the market with a connector library that continues to grow every day. These existing integrations can help you:
- Connect and unlock value from all your data across on-premises, multi-cloud and third-party sources.
- Combine Microsoft and third-party apps to create deeply integrated app experiences that support your unique business scenarios.
- Protect your entire organization and eliminate gaps by ensuring security, governance and compliance solutions work across platforms and cloud environments.
No matter where your data currently resides or how you choose to manage it going forward, you can have peace of mind knowing that your Microsoft Cloud investments can connect to all of your data and turn it into action. That was one of the reasons why Walmart chose to standardize on Microsoft Power BI for their reporting and analysis needs. “One of the key criteria for choosing our solution was knowing that Power BI works so well with a large number of partners—not necessarily just Microsoft products,” said Micah Dail, director of financial data and analytics at Walmart. “At Walmart, we use a myriad of different vendors in our technology stack, so having a tool like Power BI that can bring it all together was critical.”
Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital (ETZ), a leading clinical and teaching hospital and trauma center in the Netherlands, used pre-built Teams connectors to create powerful, integrated app experiences that help their clinicians get more done. With the Microsoft Teams Electronic Health Records (EHR) connector for Epic, ETZ clinicians can create and even join Microsoft Teams-supported appointments directly from the Epic EHR system, use interpreting services and other accessibility features, collect appointment metadata, see consumption reports, and much more. “We used Teams to build a fully integrated solution so that clinicians can document virtual patient consultations without having to launch other systems,” says Ceasar van Eeden, application analyst at Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital. Using connectors to combine Microsoft and third-party tools, ETZ created an intelligent solution that best fits their unique business needs.
Coca-Cola UNITED, one of the largest and fastest growing bottlers and distributors of Coca-Cola products, saw several opportunities to automate and streamline processes using a low-code platform. To make the most of this investment, they required a solution that could connect and integrate with their existing SAP system hosted on Microsoft Azure. Beyond the platform’s simplicity, the extensive library of pre-built integrations with SAP and Azure services made Microsoft Power Platform the ideal choice. “Once I learned about the data connections and how they would work with our SQL database and our enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, everything else fell into place,” says Jared Simmons, systems analyst at Coca-Cola UNITED, “We also value the extensibility to the platform so we can build and integrate custom connectors using Azure Logic Apps.” These custom connectors allowed Coca-Cola UNITED to create unique solutions integrated directly into their SAP system.
This vast library of connectors also helps ensure that Microsoft’s industry-leading security, governance and compliance solutions can easily work across platforms and cloud environments, without gaps in protection. Take the global exam provider, Pearson VUE, for example. Pearson VUE must keep exam content completely confidential to maintain customer confidence and protect test takers. As the cyber security landscape becomes increasingly challenging, they have adopted a range of Microsoft security solutions to help them stay protected. “We use Microsoft Sentinel to see everything that happens in our property – whether from Microsoft or non-Microsoft security solutions – and be as proactive as possible,” says Vladan Pulec, Enterprise Architect at Pearson VUE. “The easy interoperability between Microsoft Sentinel and so many other solutions makes it easier for us to standardize procedures and achieve greater cybersecurity.”
If you are a Microsoft Cloud customer and want to learn more about the connectors currently available to you, check out the following documentation:
 IDC, Worldwide IDC Global DataSphere Forecast, 2022–2026: Enterprise Organizations Driver Most of the Data Growth (Doc #US49018922), May 2022.
 Ponemon Institute, Cost of a Breach Report, July 2022, sponsored by IBM Security.
 Microsoft Cloud Security Priorities and Practices Research, March 2022, prepared by Emerald Research Group who surveyed 250 senior security decision makers.
Tags: Apps, Contacts, Microsoft Power Platform